Ocasio-Cortez: $10 trillion needed for effective climate plan

Ocasio-Cortez: $10 trillion needed for effective climate plan
© Greg Nash

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez calls for extending census period Harris, Ocasio-Cortez among Democrats calling for recurring direct payments in fourth coronavirus bill 'Drag Race' teases first look at guest judge Ocasio-Cortez MORE (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that any plan to sufficiently address the climate crisis will need to cost at least $10 trillion.

“I think we really need to get to $10 trillion to have a shot,” the progressive firebrand said in response to a question from The Hill in the Capitol.

“I know it’s a ton," she added. "I don’t think anyone wants to spend that amount of money, it’s not a fun number to say, I’m not excited to say we need to spend $10 trillion on climate, but ... it’s just the fact of the scenario.”

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Ocasio-Cortez, who helped popularize a set of principles known as the Green New Deal, said that of all the climate plans from the Democratic presidential candidates, she was most supportive of proposals from Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden vs. Trump as Sanders exits race Easter, Passover, Ramadan come with coronavirus restrictions Washington, Oregon show promising coronavirus trends MORE (Wash.), which surpassed $5 trillion, and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSteyer endorses Biden for president Biden joins calls to release racial breakdowns of coronavirus cases, deaths The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden faces tough task of uniting Democrats MORE (Mass.), which included a $2 trillion green manufacturing element.

She said she was also encouraged that 2020 Democratic front-runner Joe BidenJoe BidenSteyer endorses Biden for president Sanders 2020 press secretary: Democratic leadership interested in 'corporate status quo' or 'they're planning to replace Joe' Biden joins calls to release racial breakdowns of coronavirus cases, deaths MORE had put out a $5 trillion climate plan, though she criticized the former vice president's proposal for having less-ambitious goals and timelines than others.

All the plans in question could go further, however, she added.

“I think the entire field of climate plans still needs to be pushed,” she said. “I think it just needs to be pushed in terms of the scientific scale, that is scientifically supported in what we need to solve this problem.”

Ocasio-Cortez, whose backing would be a prize for 2020 Democrats seeking the progressive vote, acknowledged that her climate plan price tag would be derided as unrealistic, but argued that it was in line with the scale of the threat.

“It’s not popular, it’s not politically popular. People are going to call it unrealistic, and I just don’t think people understand how bad the problem is,” she said.